Split stays may not be for everyone, but they certainly have their advantages. Since you only need a few days at a particular resort, they can be easier to book in terms of availability. It can also be a lot of fun to have a change of environment during your trip and explore resorts that may be new to you. Here are some fun resort combinations to consider when booking your next split stay.
For the Park-filled Trip
Probably my favorite type of split stay is one consisting of resorts that bring you as close to the parks as possible. For example, I love to pair an EPCOT resort with a Magic Kingdom resort to have easy access to three out of the four parks. When you have a combination like the Beach Club Villas and Bay Lake Tower, you can simply walk to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom, which can save some precious vacation time that would have been spent on transportation. These locations also make it easier to rope drop or stay late for extended evening hours.
For a Vacation within a Vacation
When it comes to unique theming, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas and the Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows are hard to beat. After all, Animal Kingdom Lodge has a freakin’ savanna, and the Polynesian feels like a tropical getaway! Both resorts make it easy to forget that you are in the middle of Florida. Animal Kingdom Lodge is often the first resort that comes to mind when considering a non-park stay. You can easily spend all day exploring the different viewing areas and activities, and you really don’t have to leave the resort to feel entertained. At the Polynesian, it’s nice to enjoy the Lava and Oasis pools (or maybe even rent an Oasis patio), get a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai, visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, or simply relax on the beach.
For Great Dining
In terms of dining options, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has just about every type of restaurant from quick service (Gasparilla Island Grille) to character dining (1900 Park Fare–when it reopens) to a gourmet dining experience (Victoria & Albert’s–when it returns). Since its recent revamp, Citricos has offered one of the most memorable meals I have had on property (I’m still thinking about the sweet corn bisque and butter-poached cobia), and Narcoosee’s is still a pretty solid choice for seafood. At the Grand Floridian, you even have one of the best lounges with Enchanted Rose.
If you pair a stay at the Grand Floridian with a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can find culinary delights for more adventurous palettes. With Jambo House and Kidani Village in such close proximity to one another, you can easily enjoy the restaurants at both buildings. From the bread service and butter chicken at Sanaa to the wide array of African dishes at Boma’s buffets, there are plenty of specialties to try, and even more will be available once Jiko reopens on February 17.
For a Relaxing Trip
Sometimes trips are more for relaxation than park time. A nice split stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Copper Creek Villas and Cabins may be a good pairing for this scenario. With Saratoga Springs, you get to enjoy the peace and quiet of the sprawling resort while still being close to all the dining and shopping at Disney Springs. If you hop over to Copper Creek, you get to enjoy Wilderness Lodge and all of its amenities. Don’t feel like heading to the parks? Spend some time at the Cooper Creek Springs Pool, get lunch at Geyser Point, go for a fishing excursion, and maybe sit in front of that amazing fireplace in the lobby or perhaps the smaller cozy fireplace tucked away on the third floor of the lobby.
If you’re a fan of split stays, what are some of your favorite resort pairings?